Posted August 3, 2011 by jimhigley
“Dad, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do around here.”
As a dad of three, I’ve heard that line before. Once. Or twice. Or 2,488 other times. My high school son started in with it again a couple weeks ago.
“Everyone’s bored. We’ve done everything there is to do this summer.”
“Enjoy being bored,” I told him. “Bored’s good. Own it.”
“Stop!” he screamed. He hates it when I don’t rush to his rescue. But why would I? We live a few blocks from one of the Great Lakes. Which I think is pretty great. We have beaches, canoes, kayaks and sailboats at our fingertips. He and his pals could jump on a train about a block from our house and be in the middle of one of the world’s most incredible cities in twenty minutes. We have two dogs. We have game stations that I don’t know how to use. We have a garage full of objects with wheels. We have puzzles and a few dusty decks of cards.
And yet we get bored.
As the dad in the storyline many times, I never have the right solution. But that particular day I did.
“Let’s have a barbecue with all your friends!” I suggested.
“Huh?” he replied.
I realized, at that moment, my son still had a lot of learning to do. And lesson one was a course in getting a collection of friends together, firing up the grill, and setting up a few games. It’s called making your own fun. The timing couldn’t have been better, actually. I had just been asked to host a gathering of friends for a fun, summer barbecue–compliments of the nice folks at Reddi-wip. I was already excited to get behind the barbecue because our family has a long history with Reddi-wip. No kidding. Let’s just say it has to do with a family tradition that is best described as the Higley version of pin the tail on the donkey. Except we use a can of that fantastically frothy-luscious cream. Heck, it even got an entire chapter in my book, Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew. That would be Chapter 19: Whipped Cream Wonders. I’ll give you more details about that story in a blog update next week.
Back to my son’s lesson in celebrating.
It was a summer school A+. Why? Because it was a simple way for a bunch of high schoolers to have some good, clean, frothy fun!
Honesty, the party couldn’t have been easier. Cheeseburgers fresh off the grill, a tasty chopped salad from our neighborhood grill, lemonade and soft drinks, some pudding with whipped topping, a little fresh fruit and an assortment of summery desserts.
The best part? The kids stayed late and happily chatted and laughed around the fire while they helped themselves to an ice cream bar stocked with toppings and treats.
The bonus? My daughter did all the dishes. I think she realized that dear old dad was enjoying his vantage point watching kids be kids.
Stay tuned! Next week I’ll post more on on family tradition with Redi-wip and a video from the night’s fun!